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Title: Egypt Exposed: The True Origins of Civilization
Genre: Egypt, Conspiracy, Ancient Origins, Occult
Director: Philip Gardiner
Production Company: Reality Films
And you can’t take it with you… no matter what you do
–Alan Parsons Project, Pyramid
Another cutting edge film by Philip Gardiner, Egypt Exposed: The True Origins of Civilization explores the idea that current archaeological perspectives on the Great Pyramids in the Giza Necropolis are way off.
Egypt Exposed features the controversial author, Robert Bauval. Bauval has coauthored several books with Graham Hancock, and his original theories have been aired on primetime BBC television. He’s no stranger to strange ideas. But Bauval’s obvious intelligence makes him quite unlike some other New Age enthusiasts.
The film begins with a Bauval candidly telling of his work as a construction engineer and how he practically stumbled onto Egyptology, now a passion and, so he says, an area where his expertise is unmatched, even among leading academics and other “heavyweights,” as he puts it.
That’s quite a claim, to be sure. But in a sense, one can understand where he’s coming from. Not everyone may necessarily agree with everything this film has to say, but many serious thinkers have considered the idea that, as Bauval says, “truth is not democratic.”
In other words, the truth of a given situation might not always be present in the majority opinion, political correctness, or the latest academic trend.
This isn’t a new idea, of course. Plato discarded the whole idea of democracy as did some ancient Chinese sages who talked about “the enlightened ruler” and “the superior man” living in blissful accord with the flow of the Tao. In addition, several Jewish prophets and Jesus Christ, himself, found that being right with the truth didn’t always mean keeping the people happy.
I get that. But I have a harder time agreeing with Bauval when it comes to the importance of dialogue. Bauval seems a bit too sure he’s absolutely right and that all other critiques of his work are just expressions of camouflaged anger or, perhaps, the ignorance that comes with regimented thinking.
His ideas “just make sense,” he says. But, in fact, a rival position may also “just makes sense” to some other person.
The Catholic writer Hans Urs von Balthasar once said truth is symphonic. And because none of us are perfected beings, it’s reasonable to say we can, at least, try to get at truth through well-intentioned dialogue. Even our worst critic can sometimes, in the long run, be our best friend.
To return to Bauval’s argument, it hinges on his beliefs about three pyramids at Giza, specifically, two of near equal size and a third of smaller size, all constructed in a straight line. Within these structures, Bauval says he found a shaft pointing up to the constellation Orion.
The idea here, Bauval says, is that the Pharaoh was not an egomaniac, as commonly thought by some archaeologists and mythographers. Instead, he had a uniquely spiritual understanding of the cosmos and, upon his Earthly death, planned to return to his origin in the stars.
Among specialists, however, the contentious point arises when Bauval says the three Giza pyramids were intentionally laid out to geographically mirror the constellation of Orion. That is, the locations of the three main pyramids match the relative positions of the three stars that make up Orion’s Belt. And for this to happen, he continues, the pyramids must have been erected some 12,500 years ago and purposely lined up with Orion’s Belt as it appeared then.
Why 12,500 years ago?
Well, this is a complicated question best left to astronomers but, in a nutshell, the tilt of the Earth’s axis changes over time, as does the relative position of the stars in the nighttime sky, due to their constant movement through the universe.
Astronomers disagree over Bauval’s claims about the alignment of the pyramids with the position of Orion’s Belt some 12,500 years ago, which gives us precious little evidence for or against his so-called Orion Correlation Theory.
But here’s the catch.
Most leading Egyptologists say the Giza pyramids were somehow built (nobody knows how) about 4,500 years ago, and not 12,500 years ago as Bauval contends.
Before one writes Bauval off as a fringe theorist, in all fairness we should note that no one can say when these pyramids were built. And two respected geologists, Robert M. Schoch and David Coxill, suggest a date of around 7,000–5,000 BC for the construction of the Sphinx, which formerly was thought to be carved around the same time as the Giza pyramids (i.e. about 2,500 BC).
If all this leaves you scratching your head in disbelief, wonder, or confusion, not to worry. This isn’t easy stuff. But that’s the whole point. Can one person really say they’ve settled these vexing questions once and for all? Either Bauval is an inspired prophet of Egyptology or, on the other hand, might benefit from being more open to informed dialogue.
To his credit, Bauval forwards the interesting notion that the ancients were just as smart as we are. Their brains were just as big, he says, but they used them differently. And instead of seeking truth through empirical observation and experiment, they looked inside.
On this point I might tentatively agree, with certain reservations.
For instance, isn’t it also true that, in the 21st century, we’ve developed some invaluable new technologies, methods, and degrees of reflective analysis?
Instead of drawing a sharp line between the ancient inner seer and contemporary researchers who objectify external stimuli, as Bauval seems to, couldn’t we intelligently synthesize the best of both worlds?
Might a mystic seer also strive to be scientific and consider today’s relevant research and theories? This may seem a tall order but RSS feeds make it a realistic option for anyone with internet access.
I personally do not believe that the debate between intuition and science must be limited to a dialectic of this or that. It’s just not that cut and dried.
Along these lines, leading archaeologists like Richard H. Wilkinson recognize that the Egyptian Pharaohs lived in a deeply symbolic universe, with many spiritual beliefs and practices.
In Wilkinson’s own words:
Ancient Egypt was symbolically oriented to a degree rarely equaled by other cultures. It was through symbols that the Egyptians represented and affirmed many of their ideas, beliefs, and attitudes regarding the nature of life and reality…This is not to say that symbols were employed only in the representational forms of art and architecture, for symbolism was manifested in many other areas of life…The symbolism inherent in a given work is often an expression of underlying religious or magical beliefs that give the work, life, meaning and power.¹
Are the majority of Egyptologists really, as William James once put it in the context of experimental psychology, just a bunch of “spying and scraping” empiricists?²
I’m not entirely sure about that one. But from what I’ve seen so far, not just a few experts are open to the possibility that the ancient Egyptians held profound spiritual beliefs.
These issues aside, Egypt Exposed is an intriguing film. Accept, reject or partly agree with Bauval’s innovative ideas, viewers should come away from this feeling like they’ve just taken a journey into the heart of an ancient mystery, one which might forever remain unsolved.
¹ The Oxford Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, ed. Donald B. Redford, 2003, p. 340.
This review also appears at Earthpages.org
What do George Washington, Winston Churchill,* Benjamin Franklin, Peter Sellers, Rudyard Kipling and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have in common?
They were all remarkable men. True.
But there’s something else.
All shared the core values and beliefs characteristic of Freemasonry. In fact, all of these men were Freemasons.
Inside the Freemasons: The Grand Lodge Uncovered is an unusual and instructive film. Interviewer Karen Frandsen literally goes inside the United Grand Lodge of England to meet with John Hamill, its Head Officer.
The interview moves through several interior locations, to include the Memorial Casket Room, the Grand Temple, the Indian Temple and the Museum. Hamill provides a great deal of current and historical information about Freemasonry, stressing that it’s a fraternity concerned with Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
Hamill also says that Freemasonry has some secrets but is not a secret society. Nor is it a religion. While Freemasons must believe in God, the expression of that belief isn’t confined to any particular faith group.
I probably first took notice of Freemasonry while cutting grass one summer in a large Toronto cemetery. Just out of high school, all I knew about Freemasons was that my grandfather had been one.
While mowing endless acres of grass, the unmistakable emblem of the Square and Compasses would appear every now and then, inscribed on some of the tombstones. Even at that young age, I sensed this telltale sign represented some kind of mystery which only Freemasons could fully grasp.
Today, some of that riddle remains for outsiders. But this film helps to decode much of the enigma surrounding the fraternity by explaining its allegorical use of King Solomon’s Temple and the elusive pyramid symbol. In addition, it spells out the Freemasons’ dominant rules and moral standards while making no bones about its male-only membership.
The indoor footage is more than adequate, while Hamill’s proficient and diplomatic commentary is pretty much everything one would expect from a Head Officer belonging to a worldwide organization of some 5 million members.
Although we can read a lot about Freemasonry on the web, there’s no substitute for one of its high-ranking officers telling it like it is.
And that’s exactly what this eye-opening film does. Inside the Freemasons clarifies potentially confusing details without betraying the brotherhood’s innermost secrets.
Anyone interested in the Freemasons, be they conspiracy theorists, skeptics or those hoping to join, should find this film a mythbusting journey to the edge of a private fellowship that only true initiates can entirely understand.
*The Churchill Society says the English Prime Minister resigned from Freemasonry in 1912.
Notes: The Amphicar was a German vehicle manufactured 1960-1968. It was the first commercially produced amphibious car and used a Triumph Herald engine over the rear axle to power the wheels and twin propellors. In the water, the front wheels acted as rudders. The body was steel.
From the collections of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au
This review also appears at Earthpages.org
World War 1 in Color is an engaging, upsetting film that opens the door to the Great War of 1914-18 unlike any other documentary on this topic.
What makes this DVD different is its abundance of historical footage. And instead of the usual black and white that we’ve come to expect for this era, the entire film has been expertly colorized.
For those who think that the nightmare of World War II defines all that can go wrong with human beings, this film compels us to think again.
Gripping footage of air, sea and land battles makes this DVD a virtual time machine for those with the stomach to witness the horrific events it portrays.
Leading historians and surviving veterans punctuate the documentary with learned commentary and authentic personal accounts, these augmenting but never overshadowing the fast-paced production.
Much emphasis is given to the history of technological innovation. And a special features section uses CGI to discuss strategy.
Once or twice I felt that the film’s tone was just a bit too gung-ho, almost glorifying the technological aspects of war. After all, these technological changes were all about murdering vast numbers of people as efficiently as possible.
But, for the most part, this is a sensitive treatment of war. And, admittedly, it is fascinating to see how technology advances in the face of adversity.
However, I couldn’t help but think it’s too bad humanity couldn’t marshal its resources in a more constructive way–for instance, to solve current problems like global starvation.
It seems we collectively rise to a challenge when some great threat is about to affect us personally. But if the problem doesn’t immediately endanger us, we often just look the other way.
Perhaps that’s a sad, unspoken statement made by this excellent film, in addition to the obvious one that war is not fun, not glorious, but rather hellish and something to be avoided at all costs.
You know, as a practising Christian I try hard not to judge others.
But there’s always the reality of people who are not sane and really quite bent on evil.
If you think I’m being xtreme, just take a look at this document. It’s a letter of agreement signed by Adolf Hitler and the British PM Neville Chamberlain.
And we know what Hitler did shortly after.
As Bob Dylan put it:
Note: Handwritten portions have been moved toward center to fit into this blogspace.